「その手につかみとれ」 (Sono-te ni Tsukami Tore)
“Grab It In Your Hand”
As the Round Table Conference concludes, our heroes enjoy a brief respite as the next challenge begins heading their way.
Shiroe’s Adventurers of the Round Table
So within the first few minutes of this episode, Satelight made it clear that Shiroe would be victorious. Instead of keeping us in suspense they flashed forward a week to the Mari-nee and Henrietta takoyaki scene, where the lighter atmosphere of Akihabara made it clear that Shiroe had won. And you know what? I liked it. This was no Rinne no Lagrange ep12, where the lead in ruined the moment; no, we all pretty much knew Shiroe would win, it was just how he would do it that I wanted to see. Turns out he had it mostly wrapped up last time.
Money likes to get out there and play, and there’s nothing those in power like less than an idle, restless population. If anything can be said to be why the Round Table Conference was ratified, it’s these two arguments. Shiroe was right of course; PKing and many other problems (crimes, if you will) were occurring because it was so easy to make a living but there was very little to live for. What I especially liked was how this mirrored our own world. Is it any wonder that world leaders prefer their people to be employed and buying a bunch of junk? It keeps them busy and mostly content, which sharply decreases the frequency of government-overthrowing riots. Shiroe was smart enough to realize that people are people no matter what world they’re in, and that they needed laws to create the economy that would give them all a sense of purpose.
We’re Not In Earth-Akihabara Anymore
One of Shiroe’s points is important enough that I’m going to repeat it – they’re not inside Elder Tales. The fact that they can make food and steam engines and other items independent of the game’s command menus proves that though this world is certainly influenced by Elder Tales, it is NOT Elder Tales. That’s important because people will do all sorts of things in a game that they’d never do in a real world, even one that apparently has some game systems imposed on it.
Which is why I can do nothing but cheer for Shiroe demanding that People of the Land get the same rights as adventurers. Not because the People of the Land might go to war with the adventurer invaders – yes, invaders – among their midst, but because it’s the right thing to do. What struck me as funny was how it takes something like this, a human rights situation where both sides are actually understandable, to give a dual-sided view of issues like racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry.
Stay with me here. Maybe this is just me, but I have trouble understanding a bigot’s point of view. (I have a feeling that’s not just me.) While a few generations ago certain kinds of bigotry were widespread and even respectable, now I find it extremely hard to in any way empathize with someone who says a certain race, sex, or creed is somehow less. Yet here we have a situation that does exactly that to a degree. In a video game, would you not treat NPCs differently than players? Of course you would, they’re just a bunch of zeroes and ones! So the viewpoint that NPCs are less deserving of rights than players is understandable, even reasonable…up until you realize that this isn’t a game anymore, and the rules have changed. Adventurers may be stronger, faster, healthier, more intelligent, better dressed, and incapable of dying, but that doesn’t make them better. It just means they can lift more weight, run more quickly, don’t get sick as much, know more thanks to their Earth educations, get to wear cool-looking armor, and don’t have to fear death, and that’s not the same.
More Than Meets The Eye
It was a great moment when the guilds all agreed to join the Round Table Conference. The merchant guilds were no surprise – after all, businesses like laws that allow them to keep their profits and stimulate an economy where everyone has the money to buy their goods. It was when first D.D.D. and then the Black Sword Knights and the others joined in that I couldn’t help but cheer.
Speaking of the Black Sword Knights, Isaac. One thing Touno-sensei is good at is making characters with more complex motivations and personalities than they otherwise could have had. Isaac could have easily been an uber-intense raiding guild bully, and I’ve met enough of those in my MMORPG days to know it would have been an entirely reasonable thing to be. He’s not though. He’s ornery and contrary and a bit of an ass, but he knows what’s right for them all when he sees it, and he even came to help clean out the new Log Horizon guildhall when he most certainly didn’t have to. Care in the minor characters and antagonists is the sign of a really good writer. Touno-sensei is showing he is one of those.
A Happy Curry Family
Excited Shiroe is so moe!! Seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing at that whole curry bit. That was the celebration, the happy, silly, friendly time that shows just how well these characters get along. Them cleaning up their new guild hall and goofing around with their friends showed how they’re more than just guildmates – they’re a family, and a damn happy one too. And it’s curry night, woo!
And the family has grown. No surprise there once again, no surprise at all, but it was still a wonderful moment when Shiroe welcomed them to the guild. For my money though, it was the flashback to when Shiroe asked Naotsugu and Akatsuki to join the guild he was making that got the most warm and fuzzies. In their replies they revealed that they always considered themselves a guild, they just didn’t have a name yet, not until Shiroe was ready to give them one. Like there was even a snowball’s chance in hell they would say no, silly Shiro-bo.
Looking Ahead – The People of the Land
If I had tried to guess what would happen next, a possible war with the People of the Land wouldn’t have been on the list. I’d like to get a little more MMORPG-style action in here, but seeing Shiroe maneuver the united city of Akihabara so it isn’t overrun by the huge League of Freedom Towns Eastal (ohhh, so close!) should be interesting no matter how it’s done. Bring it on, and swimsuits too? Yatta!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The Round Table is formed while the People of the Land start spying ahead of a possible war. It’s a happy curry family, yay! #loghorizon 10
- Soujirou is so the Round Table’s mascot, isn’t he? Also, kyaa~!
- Bonus: I liked how Shiroe stayed behind the scenes while all the other Round Table members took to the stage. That was a good idea, lest he go around looking like the tyrant he already is.
- Hair up & tight shirt Akatsuki HNG!!
- Looks like Mari-nee wants Shiroe to grow up big and strong like Naotsugu[‘s armor].
- Roundhouse kicks now? I missed this gag so much! Only 10 episodes in and I’m already nostalgic. Well played Log Horizon, well played.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Don’t reject feedback rashly, Hard fantasy vs soft fantasy, What I’m thankful for, and On writing fast, writing well.